A fire destroyed the Ernest Hemingway museum and The Compleat Angler bar Friday on the Bahamian island of Bimini, one of the American novelist’s 1930s haunts during the days he stalked big game fish.
The early morning blaze leveled the wood structure in Alice Town and destroyed photographs and Hemingway memorabilia, police said.
The destruction of the tiny island’s biggest tourist attraction is the second major blow to hit Bimini in a month. On Dec. 19, 11 residents were among 20 people killed when a Chalk’s Ocean Airways seaplane plunged into the sea in Miami’s shipping channel.
Hemingway drank at The Compleat Angler between fishing trips in his vessel Pilar in search of marlin, wahoo and sailfish in the pristine waters around Bimini.
His novel “The Old Man and The Sea” was said to be inspired by his fishing exploits in the Bahamas and Cuba, and he worked on “To Have and Have Not” in Bimini.
The Hemingway legend became a major draw and The Compleat Angler created a museum which included hundreds of photographs and artifacts of the author.